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A recent survey just released by Leonard Cheshire Disability seems to indicate that the disabled, especially those confined to wheelchairs, are having trouble taking advantage of local bus service. Apparently, the disabled are being turned away by bus drivers during busy times or when the driver or vehicle cannot accommodate a disabled person for one reason or another.

It is not clear how comprehensive the survey is in scope. Nonetheless, 179 respondents said they had been refused space on a bus and/or had observed others being turned away. Reasons cited by drivers include not having enough space remaining, not having an available ramp with the bus, or having a ramp that was currently inoperable. Some of the respondents suggested their difficulties are partly due to larger pushchairs taking up space on buses – space that is supposed to be reserved for those using wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

The survey went on to describe how disabled people believe they are being treated rudely by both passengers and bus drivers. It does not paint a very good picture overall about the state of bus service for the disabled in Great Britain. However, it must be noted that the survey is largely anecdotal. Results from the survey do not necessarily dictate that these kinds of problems are widespread or that they are experienced routinely by the vast majority of disabled people.

Equipment and Training

In cases where consumer complaints are legitimate, there are two things that have to be addressed. First is the equipment problem. The law requires bus companies to make every reasonable accommodation to assist those with disabilities who want to ride the bus. As such, most public buses have wheelchair ramps for that very reason. But what good does it do to have a ramp if it is not working?

The second area of concern is bus driver training. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure he/she and his/her vehicle are as accommodating as possible to those with disabilities. If that means forcing other passengers to free up space for disabled passengers, doing so should never be a question. Perhaps more and better bus driver training might alleviate some of the concerns of the survey respondents.

We Train Bus Drivers

Here at the HGV Training Centre, we are proud to offer bus driver training alongside our other training opportunities. We believe we have developed one of the most effective and efficient means of training new drivers looking to enter the haulage and transport industries. Our bus training is a world-class programme that routinely meets and exceeds all government regulations and industry best practices.

We can train you to be a professional bus driver more than capable of providing the kind of service UK consumers deserve. Not only will we teach you the physical skills you need to pass your tests, but we will also train you in driving theory and CPC standards. Our bus driver training programme will get you licenced and working quickly.

Sources:

LEP – https://www.lep.co.uk/news/transport/wheelchair-users-often-left-behind-by-bus-drivers-1-7584850

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